Bodegas Tinto Negro was formed in 2010 by Jeff Mausbach and Alejandro Sejanovich who worked together for 15 years at the world-famous Mendoza winery Catena Zapata. Joined by Jorge Crotta a few years later, the trio form a dynamic and enthusiastic team drawing off the expertise of the award-winning Sejanovich, who was named Tim Atkin MW's Argentinian Winemaker of the Year in 2021.
High altitudes are key to the freshness and subtlety displayed across the wines, which are grown in the Uco Valley on a variety of complex clay, limestone and sand-based vineyards.
The superb-value Mendoza Malbec starts the range. Sourced from vines planted at 1,100m above sea level on deep, clay-loam soils, it shows a bright red fruit character with a supple texture and soft tannins and is a great introduction to the Tinto Negro style. It has sufficient structure to suit imbibing with or without food accompaniment.
Their 'Limestone Block' Malbec comes from a single block in the Los Chacayes district at even higher altitude (some 1,300m) and is co-fermented with between 10 to 12% Cabernet Franc. The limestone rich soils (a rarity in Mendoza) impart a mineral dimension to the wine, which shows an abundance of plum and mulberry fruit and an expressive medium-bodied palate. Food-friendly, it is an ideal wine to partner with barbecued peppers or a smoky Baba Ganoush.
Their single vineyard 'Finca La Escuela' comes from vines planted at a similar height to the Limestone Block which surrounds a historic local school, supported by the vineyard team. Located on a complex mix of silt, gravel and sandy soils, it has lifted red berry fruit, black cherry and damson aromatics with firm but well-integrated tannins. Terrific value by comparison with similar full-bodied reds, this will age for a decade and is a worthy partner to a chargrilled ribeye.
A worthy finishing act, the 'Vineyard 1955' Malbec is a intense yet supple wine from vines approaching 60 years of age which are responsible for its tremendous concentration, depth and complexity. Expressive and aromatic, with a generous palate with plenty of extract and juice, this is delicious now but will reward up to a decade of cellaring - bring out your finest cut of beef.